Belém is on the banks of the Bay of Guajará, which is formed by a set of islands and river mouths on the estuary of the Amazon river. Its river port helps putting into motion the Northern region of Brazil.
The city was established in 1616, after the construction of “Forte do Presépio”, today “Forte do Castelo”, on the banks the Pará river. Belém is, in a way, a synthesis of the culture and the history of Pará and the Amazon with native Indian influence in the food and culture. It became an extremely wealthy city with the Rubber Boom at the end of the 19th century and many beautiful colonial buildings from this era are still visible.
Every year, on the second Sunday of October, Belém features one of the largest Catholic parades in the world, Círio de Nazaré.
Huge bus terminal a few kilometers east of the center. Many local buses pass here. It is possible to travel by air-conditioned coach to Belém from most major points in Brazil. However, due to its relative isolation, travel times can be quite lengthy (Example 27 hours to Fortaleza) – especially from the south.
- 1 Val de Cans International Airport (BEL IATA). Has regular international flights linking Belém to Cayenne, Georgetown, Paramaribo, Lisbon and Miami, and many direct domestic flights linking Belém to Brasilia, Fortaleza, Manaus, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and Macapá. Bus Pratinhas to/from Presidente Vargas, and Marex to/from Prça da República. Taxi to center R$20–30 (negotiate!).